The Green Thumb Nursery

Post D Horticulture Program

Since 2002, the W. W. Moore, Jr. Detention has had an active horticulture program. The main objective of the program is to teach residents to care for another living object. It began with a small indoor greenhouse in the classroom which allowed residents to grow seedlings. The program then expanded to a small outdoor greenhouse (8-foot by 10-foot) which gave residents a place to work with plants for classroom instruction.

Greenhouse Aerial

In 2006, the Board of Hughes Memorial Home for Children donated a commercial size greenhouse to the program which has greatly enhanced the program.

Since the inception of the program, Stuart Sutphin, of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, began teaching a job skills horticulture class for the Post-Dispositional Residents. Each session of classes is taught twice a week for eight weeks, and the residents learn how to work in a "Green Industry". Approximately 100 residents have participated in the program. The Post-Dispositional Teachers provide hands-on experiences in planting and designing landscapes. The program has been used as a model for implementation of similar programs in detention homes throughout the state.

The horticulture program impressed Dr. Bonnie Appleton, a Virginia Tech Horticulture Professor, and she wrote a grant for the program to install a prototype tree arboretum at the detention home which yields utility friendly trees.

In 2008, the Green Thumb Nursery and Tree Arboretum held a Dedication Ceremony & Open House, and trees were planted in memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy. During the ceremony, the Green Thumb Nursery and Tree Arboretum was presented the Gold Leaf Award by Paul Revell of the Virginia Department of Forestry for outstanding beautification and landscaping activities.

The Post-Dispositional Program residents and Teachers host tree, plant, and flower sales several times throughout the year that are open to the public.